The release of the long-promised They Might Be Giants kids album, “No!,” has been moved to June 11. Originally expected in April, the Idlewild Recordings/Rounder release will be issued as an enhanced CD featuring videos for 13 of the album’s 17 tracks.
“Since we started performing, people have been wondering when we’d do this kind of project,” vocalist/guitarist John Flansburgh said in a statement. “We’ve always tried to hold onto our kid-like impulses, and our songs have always had a lot of unusual imagery in them. Now that we’re established as a band, we felt it was a good time to explore this genre of music, and hopefully bring something of our own to it.” The core of TMBG is rounded out by vocalist/keyboardist/saxophonist John Linnell.
Among the songs on “No!” is “Robot Parade,” which has been a staple of the band’s live show for several years and was previously released as part of the EMusic downloadable EP “Working Undercover for the Man.” Other highlights include the street crossing safety number “In the Middle, In the Middle, In the Middle,” the fantasy hero funk theme “John Lee Supertaster,” and XTC-ish pop number “Where Do They Make Balloons?” The album ends with a trio of nighttime-oriented songs — “Lazyhead and Sleepybones,” “Bed Bed Bed,” and “Sleepwalkers.”
The enhanced CD will be compatible with a PC or Mac. Many of the animated segments will feature interactive sequences, allowing users to sing along to lyrics displayed on the screen. In addition, the giantkid.com Web site has been established to showcase the album and other family oriented projects by the band.
The release of “No!” isn’t the band’s first foray into family fare. In 1994 TMBG released its version of the “edutainment” song “Why Does the Sun Shine?” Additionally, Steven Spielberg’s animated kids series “Tiny Toons” also created videos for the tracks “Particle Man” and “Istanbul (Not Constantiople),” both from the band’s 1990 Elektra debut, “Flood.”
Earlier this year, TMBG won its first Grammy, taking the best song written for a motion picture, television, or other visual media trophy for the theme song to the Fox sitcom “Boss of Me.” A documentary on the band, “Gigantic: A Tale of Two Johns,” will be shown in art house theaters in the coming months and released this fall on home video formats.
TMBG is on tour in Europe, and will perform Wednesday (April 17) in Madrid. Once back in the U.S., the group will perform June 27 in Nashville’s Riverfront Park and the next night as part of Atlanta’s On the Bricks free concert series. For more information, visit the band’s official Web site.
Here is the full “No!” track listing:
“Four of Two”
“Where Do They Make Balloons?”
“In the Middle, In the Middle, In the Middle”
“John Lee Supertaster”
“The Edison Museum”
“The House at the Top of the Tree”
“Clap Your Hands”
“I Am Not Your Broom”
“Wake Up Call”
“I Am a Grocery Bag”
“Lazyhead and Sleepybones”
“Bed Bed Bed”
Here are TMBG tour dates:
April 17: Madrid (La Riviera)
April 18: Bergara, Spain (Sala Jam)
April 19: Barcelona (Bikini)
April 22: Cologne (Prime Club)
April 23: Amsterdam (Paradiso)
April 24: Hamburg (Markthalle)
April 27: Rindge, N.H. (Franklin Pierce College)
May 11: North Adams, Mass. (Contemporary Arts Museum)
June 27: Nashville (Riverfront Park)
June 28: Atlanta (Centennial Olympic Park)